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Butterfly Kisses: To My Dad

Dear Dad,

I heard a Hallmark commercial on the radio yesterday about “What is it you need to say to your dad? Tell him with a Hallmark card.” And I wanted to do that. So bad. But everything I need to say won’t fit on a Hallmark card, and it’s been 17 years since you passed away.

Zachary is almost 4 now, and you never met my boys, never wrestled with them on the floor, drove them around in your sports car, or took them out for ice cream. I create scenes in my head how it might go when you are with them. What your relationship would be like, and how much I would love watching your interactions with them. Ben looks exactly like you did when you were his age, and it makes me smile. I hate to tell him that baldness is in his future.

I just finished my website, and I wish you were here to help me design it and encourage me in the process. But I can hear your voice in my head telling me how proud you are, and how you love it because I created it. It’s only because I am your daughter that I have any artistic ability at all.

I think about the world events you don’t know about like 9/11 and the war in Iraq and smart phones and Ipads. The internet. You have no idea what the internet is. And I can’t live without it. You don’t know that I have 3 boys or that Jeff and I planted a church in Fremont 11 years ago, just like you and Mom did in Denver 40 years ago. You don’t know that I’ve recorded CDs and studied interior design or gone to seminary. Or that I actually “preach” in church sometimes. You don’t know that Todd travels all over Europe touring with his band and the dozens of albums he’s made. Or that the church you once started with a vision of 1000 people is over 4000. I hope what you do know is how much I love you and miss you.

Having life experiences with you or even just telling you about them made them better, more fulfilling. It’s true with anyone I love. I know that. But the only reason I know that is because you are NOT here to experience life with me anymore. I can’t pick up the phone and call you to tell you all about my day or how I am looking forward to seeing you soon. And I confess, I really hate that.

I was exiting the freeway one day listening to that song “Butterfly Kisses” about the dad and the daughter when a small white butterfly danced past my windshield and flew away. And I knew God was letting me know that you love me.

But that butterfly says so much more. It’s the confirmation that there is a life after death, a resurrection into a life where we no longer crawl along the ground like caterpillars but soar like butterflies. What a redundant metaphor that I take for granted! It gives hope that my days of a caterpillar are numbered, and life as a butterfly is soon to come.

And that, Dad, you know all about. Happy Father’s Day. I love you so much.

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